'Southland': What did you think of last night's shocking [SPOILER]?

SouthlandImage Credit: Doug Hyun/TNTSPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers from last night’s Southland. Read on at your own risk.

The first shot of last night’s Southland hinted that it was going to be a big episode. A bruised Sammy was sitting distraught on an uncomfortable, cold-looking chair. As a gleam of white light obstructed our view of Sammy through the camera’s lens, a piercing scream was heard, and Sammy’s face crumbled. And my stomach went into a knot.

From that moment, we knew the episode was building toward something. Sammy had made a mistake with dire consequences — that much we knew. But we didn’t know that by the end of the episode, Nate would be dead.

The eerie part was that nothing seemed different about the episode. The drama of the intense situations show was cut by witty batter and hilarious situations. (See yesterday’s exclusive photos of the episode for more on that.) John was teaching Ben a lesson about being too cocky after the rookie botched a bunch of calls (“Why run when you can drive?” John joked to a breathless Ben at one point). Eventually, John blew up, made Ben feel bad (it was all over his face), and we shook our heads in disappointment that Ben didn’t listen to John from the beginning. Oh, I love those two.

Meanwhile, Sammy was dealing with family drama while trying to keep his head on straight for a case that ended with him and Nate booking a high-profile gangster. This didn’t sit too well with his “homies,” but victories for the good guys on Southland are never met with the lauds from the neighborhood. And this week, it got ugly. So ugly that Nate started a confrontation after someone threw a glass bottle at his and Sammy’s car. So ugly that the confrontation turned into a near-riot. And so ugly that Nate got hit forcefully in the back of his head by one of the members of the crowd, causing a major, fatal wound.

“I haven’t read a book or read a story or script in a very, very long time where I actually choked up,” star Kevin Alejandro, who plays Nate, told EW this morning. “I’m not sure if I’m being biased because it was my character, but the way it was written was like poetry. It was all in the stage direction the way it was — to me getting out of the car to exchanging dialogue. It was so beautifully written, the way it finally goes down and Sammy runs out of ammunition. These guys just come and go crazy on me, and Sammy — in a very heroic move and in desperation — covers my body and pulls me up against the car so that he can take all the blows instead of them landing on me. I was so moved.”

Alejandro has known since the beginning of the season that his character would be killed off and added that while he was “sad that I had to be the first one to go, it makes sense with how life on the street works.”

“I’ve heard stories of these situations. And every time I read it — and last night seeing — I was so moved because it is a real story. My wife was sitting next to me and each time they moved in [on Nate], my wife would get closer to me and bury her head in my shoulder. She was crying. I had the same reaction, but I think a lot of people did. And I was very moved by [co-star Shawn Hatosy's] performance. He deserves some amazing recognition for the way he controlled himself for that scene — and let loose. It was amazing.”

We’re inclined to agree. What about you, PopWatchers?

On Twitter: @EWSandraG

Read more:
‘Southland’ season premiere review: Crime, punishment, and pain

Comments (179 total) Add your comment
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  • TVJunkie

    as a HUGE southland and TV fan in general, I knew something was coming…you could feel it. And in the beginning of the show, when they showed Sammy in the ER, i thought something horrible happened to Tammy. Ugh, how I wish it was her and not Nate. Though I hate to see Alejandro’s character go, it was some freakin’ episode, and I am pumped to see where it goes from here. Best cop show on TV far and away, and with its amazing cast and polarizing characters, it could be the best show on cable…period.

    • brandi

      I totally agree. Although I had no idea Kevin/Nate was leaving the show. He is one of my favorite characters I am so bummed, but at least he’ll live on on True Blood. I also thought something had happened to Tammy when I saw Sammy sitting there. To bad it wasn’t her character, she is a horrible person. That last scene with Sammy and Nate’s wife was heartwrenching. As for Ben, I kind of felt bad for him, he had a REALLY bad day. But John is right, as usual, sometimes I hate that guy. I did LOL during the car/foot chase scene and the perp tripped (hello Wallace). As sad as I am to see Nate go, this was an amazing episode, very unforgetable.

      • ajay c

        I still can’t believe the morons over at NBC passed on this great drama. “Code 4″ was the best drama episode I’ve seen so far this entire tv season. How ironic, right? Code 4 is a police code for No Assistance required, and this is what ends up happening.

      • marissa

        i was really hoping for it to be tammy too :(. shout out for the wallace reference…veronica mars is one of my favorite shows.

    • Snsetblaze

      I am also one who thought it was something happening to Tammy – a miscarriage perhaps – when I heard the scream.

    • Q

      After the open, I would’ve put money on a fight or car accident that resulted in Tammy losing the pregnancy or Victor’s death. I was completely floored as the final scene was developing. It wasn’t until he got out of the car and I realized what time it was that I started thinking “Oh, no, please, just drive away, just…”

      • frogprof

        @Q: we must be sharing brain cells or something because that is almost EXACTLY how it played out in my head last night! I was hoping that Tammy or Victor had died [BLECH] or at the very least that Tammy had lost the baby — but when I saw Sammy wave four fingers at the chopper, I looked at the clock and thought, “Oh, no.”

    • Ally

      This was so hard to watch- it was so heartbreaking. Watching Sammy struggle to do anything to keep them back. It was so much harder than watching Nate just get shot or something. This is such a good show- I just wish they hadnt killed Nate- he was definitely one of my favorites, would rather it have been anyone else but him :(

  • Brooke

    This show is amazing and this episode was one of the best! I was in tears by the end! My husband and I were still talking about it this morning. I can’t believe Southland doesn’t get more award recognition!

  • amandalouise

    that was the most intense tv episode ever. especially because you didnt see it coming to nate. i dont watch cop dramas, but this is a seriously amazing show. i am still thinking about last nights episode. I gasped,cried, and let out a small scream. this show has me hooked.

  • anne

    Brilliant Episode.
    Southland is 4 for 4 this season. All four episodes so far have been sterling, really provocative, well done.

  • Sad to see Nate go

    This was one of those rare televison episodes that lingers with you long after the final scene.

    • gmguerrero

      I also thought this episode was very well written and although I got a glimpse of how it was going to end, I did not expect this…it was shocking and so very sad, both actors made me feel like there was a true bond between them and to see Sammy protect him that way, it just tore at my heart…I luv this show…

    • Linda

      I agree, this episode was very moving. It has stuck with me.

    • KC

      I couldn’t agree more…I just watched last night on Tivo and was still thinking about it today. Shocking and sad. :(

      • Mina

        I just finally watched this last night and can’t get it out of my head. So sad to see him leave the show. But I loved him on True Blood.

  • Reena

    I had to rewind a few times to really believe it happened i was in tears by the end of the episode after the first scene my stomach was in knots throughout the whole episode i knew something bad was coming but didnt expect nate to die..so many questions are going through my head now..why did they do it? is sammy going to seek vengence on the gang? this show is AMAZING! and i am so glad TNT made the smart move and picked it up hope it lasts a long time!!!

    • beans

      I agree great eps If ABC lets Detroit 187 go it would pair with Southland great

  • Ls

    I can’t believe it, I’m in shock. He was to good to be killed off like that.

  • jmcg

    I so wasn’t expecting that. I’m still in shock. It should’ve been Tammy instead of Nate.

  • Kristina

    I’m so glad someone at EW wrote an article for Southland. Please keep it up. Last night’s episode is some of the best television I’ve seen in a while. The show has always been good, but last night was exceptional. It definitely deserves more recognition than it gets. Nate will really be missed and I’m almost a little scared to see how Sammy is going to take all this. Excellent show and thanks for the recap!

  • Amy

    What a fantastic episode! Good gracious, I love this show. I did figure out who had died from the opening sequence and I was admittedly a little angry to see Nate was being killed off. I really loved the relationship between Nate and Sammy. However, I will say that it was genius how the attack was crafted and big kudos to Shawn Hatosy for his stellar performance. Thank you TNT for not being afraid to show this series in it’s gritty, raw, real form. Now don’t kill off anyone else! Except maybe Lydia’s current partner…she’s not my favorite.

  • Leah

    I am SO GLAD this show is back on because eps like that last night demonstrate how well done it is. The tensions with the pack closing in over and over, oh wow it was on the level of that “office down” scene in the first season of The Wire. This is one of the best shows on TV. And what a well done episode.

    • tvgirl48

      This show does remind me of a softer (but by no means soft, just not HBO caliber grit) version of “The Wire” every week. And that is a huge compliment.

  • kozmikg

    WOW!! That was some riveting and painfully real television. Thank you TNT for giving this show a second chance at life. The show has been awesome all season but this ep was just beyond even my high expectations for this show. Well done!!!

  • Linda Johnson

    I love this drama..and it is a drama. I was crushed that Kevin/Nate was killed off. It was a real gutwrenching scene. The characters are like all of us with shortcomings,troubles, and imperfections. Great show. Good pickup TNT. NBC’s loss!!!

  • Jaded

    Amazing episode as usual! Southland gets better and better. I gotta say I loved seeing Regina King without that batty partner of hers. It’s sad to think about the earlier scene with Nate and his family in the kitchen and it being the last time they’ll all be together. Great show!

    • Snsetblaze

      I actually like the batty jaded partner. Essentially the partner was pulling on REgina King’s character the same thing she did to Russ.

  • Julie Cooper-Nichol

    I love Kevin Alejandro in everything he does. Why did they kill him off? Why? Why? (Also, Ben McKenzie was adorable
    again this week, speaking Japanese and cursing like a longshoreman.)

    • Caleb

      Ju-Ju, cancel whatever spa treatment you have scheduled. We need to talk!

      • Nix

        OMG OC FLASHBACK

      • Wills

        LOL, I love Ben McKenzie and am so glad to see him on TV. SouthLAnd was AWESOME last night!

    • Erin

      He committed to True Blood when NBC cancelled the show and it was up in the air of what was going to happen. So it was basically his decision to leave and he was happy when the writers told him how it was going to happen bc it was a true story, etc. There’s a great interview with him on tvline.com.

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